Who Are the Music Makers?

by MW Cook

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
– Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy – ‘Ode’
Full text here.

     Who are the music makers?

     Who are the dream dreamers?

     Do you want the job?

     It’s not an easy role. You are forced to wander alone by the cold, infinite sea. You will have to pitch a tent in the dark, sacred desert. Your dreams will give birth to Nineveh and Babel, and then you will find your prophecies tearing them down again. You will have to give up the world and be willing to have the world give up on you in return.

     Can you do it?

     Are you willing?

     There is much in store for you, should you take this heavy yoke.

     You will become a mover. A shaker.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

     The path turns itself dark. And that makes the light of your music all the brighter.

     Is it worth it?

     The pain? The loneliness?

     Tell me this, instead.

     Is life worth the pain of living?

     Are children worth the pain of birth?

     Is gold worth the flame that makes it?